The other day I was in a parking lot when a well-known businessman parked beside me. He was driving an older model Honda Civic; by no means the vehicle to display his abundant wealth. We are friends and I jokingly asked if he thought the time for a new car had come. He said the car had been loyal and dependable. He had kept the car up with maintenance and even installed a few upgrades, like an updated stereo. So why change?
That story could apply to Register of Deeds Pam Hurst. Hamilton County has benefited from 20 years of service and leadership from Ms. Hurst. She has transformed the register's office through modern filing. She has kept upgrading the register's office with new "user friendly" technology. Pam Hurst has made the accessibility of information for all citizens a high priority.
Through the fees Ms. Hurst has collected the register of deeds office has returned money to the Hamilton County General Fund. Just like a good Republican.
So why change? How many things or persons are dependable and loyal in government. Yes, a few but we need more. Pam Hurst has proven to be a true leader and good stewart of taxpayer dollars. The office of register of deeds is in good hands; so, are the citizens of Hamilton County.
* * *
When I was a college senior, I was still using my Dad's old car he gave me years before and I loved it! The older model car gave me a lot of hard times, but that's the trouble though with older cars, they can take a lot of work to keep in running. Which is why I was faced with a major decision my senior year, do I keep spending more and more money upgrading my car to keep up with what I needed, on top of the increased repair costs of an older car, or do I replace my beloved car with one that was more up to date and cost efficient? I would miss that old car but I soon realized that I was being sentimental, and when I realized how much money I was saving I wished I had done it sooner.
The ability to maintain and upgrade an old car is based on the assumption it can in fact be maintained and that it isn't more logical for it to be replaced. The problem with sentimentality is that it blinds people to any fundamental problems that are more costly to repair than replace. The argument has been made that Pam Hurst is a good steward of taxpayer dollars, but how can a person be such a steward if they are using taxpayer money to pay a lawsuit brought against her office? Hurst settled a law suit for almost a hundred thousand dollars for wrongly terminating a sick employee, and in these uncertain financial times that is too high a price to pay for sentimentality.
This is an example of why sometimes it makes more sense to replace the beloved car for a more reliable, cost efficient model. Therefore, the only logical choice this election is Ryan Epperson for register of deeds.
Liam Hennigan, Chattanooga